Brisk research and development to utilize AI in the renewable energy sector such as solar and wind power energy is increasing patent applications.
AI is attracting attention as it can accurately predict solar and wind power generation and demand for electric power and realize efficient storage and transmission of electricity through a smart grid. As such AI is touching off innovations in the new and renewable energy sector.
According to the Korea Intellectual Property Office on May 8, the number of AI-based patent applications related to renewable energy tripled during the 2012-2017 period.
The number of patent applications increased from 14 in 2012 to 28 in 2014, 40 in 2016 and 47 last year. Analysts say that the increase in patent applications is attributable to active research on artificial intelligence in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the Moon Jae-in administration’s efforts to nurture eco-friendly new and renewable energy sources.
The increase was led by Samsung Electronics (20 applications) and KEPCO (15), Germany’s Siemens (six) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research, the Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and KD Power (five each). SMEs filed 75 applications, indicating that they were active in research and development on renewable energy.
By technology category, patent applications related with diagnosis of electric power systems amounted to 98, taking the lion’s share.
They were followed by applications related with technologies for demand forecasting and management (58), power plant control (41), power grid control (26), power generation forecast (23), and battery charge/discharge control (7).
Even though technology for battery charge and discharge control and power network control linked with accurate forecasts on generation amount holds the key to slashing the current use of fossil fuel energy, there were fewer patent applications in these fields.